Learning Disability Nurses mark 100 years of the profession

31st December 2019

To celebrate a century of learning disability nursing, local nurses past and present gathered at Bulbury Woods Golf Club near Poole.

A commemorative ‘100’ cake was served up to mark the milestone as the nurses discussed their experiences and the development of the service down the years.

The Learning Disability (LD) Nurses Team at Dorset HealthCare offers practical help with physical and mental health problems, relationships, behaviours and communication.

Staff work closely with families, carers and GPs to ensure the care and support provided is tailored to the needs of the individual, helping people live safely and healthily in the community.

Susannah Bailey, 44, from Bournemouth, has a disability and was supported by the team for six years. She had previously felt depressed and had little motivation but things changed when Ginny Boniface, her LD Nurse, worked with her to create a wellbeing plan.

Whenever Susannah was feeling down, the plan gave her visuals and prompts of things to make her feel better, such as call a friend, have a cup of tea or play a game.

Her mental wellbeing improved enormously, and she became more independent thanks to Ginny and the team – developing new interests and a love of cooking, in particular.

Susannah said: “Ginny was a very kind nurse, provided great advice and helped me to get better. I am more independent now and feel happier. She made a real difference to my life.”

Susannah continues to receive regular physiotherapy from the Trust, and she helps interview potential new LD nurses, providing valuable input from a patient’s point of view.

To find out more regarding Dorset HealthCare’s learning disability services across the county, visit www.learningdisabilitiesdorset.uk

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